The van door creaked noisily as Steven pushed it open.
“Dad?” he called out.
“There you are, Stuball!” Greg set down his guitar to hug his son.
“How’s your day been? I’ve been...” Greg stopped after seeing his son’s face. “Steven? Are you ok?”
Steven started to nod, but then shook his head. Greg sat down on the floor of the van, motioning for him to do the same.
“What is it, bud?” Greg asked as Steven got comfortable.
After a few seconds, Steven spoke up. “Do you remember when you got abducted by Blue Diamond?”
“How could I forget?” Greg’s voice held both mirth and a little nervousness as to where this was heading.
“So,” continued Steven, “you know how Mom kinda... killed their sister?”
Greg put his arm around his son. “Yes, Steven, I do. I know it’s hard on you-“
Steven cut him off, “Dad, please let me finish.”
Stunned by this display of emotion, Greg drew his arm back.
“I’m sorry,” Steven whispered.
This was out of character for the normally cheerful Steven. Greg knew it was something really serious.
“Go on, Steven. You can tell me anything.” He kept his voice gentle, waiting for Steven to continue.
“Everyone knows that Mom did it,” Steven continued shakily, “but not everyone knows that she didn’t.”
For a moment, Greg thought he was joking. Surprise! My mom’s not actually a war criminal after all!
But seeing Steven curled up, hugging himself, he knew it was no joke.
“So your mother... didn’t do it? Who did?” Greg asked slowly, trying not to upset Steven more.
Steven began to say something, but then stopped. “It’s too complicated. Much more complicated than we thought. For starters, Pink Diamond never died.”
This only confused Greg more. “Wait. What? Then where is she? Do you need me to call Andy?”
Steven took a deep breath, then pointed at his stomach.
“She’s inside you? She’s in the ground? She’s...oh...”
Greg felt a shock go down his whole body as he realized what Steven was insinuating.
“Rose Quartz was Pink Diamond.”
Steven only nodded in response.
A tumultuous flurry of emotions whooshed through Greg. Shock, disbelief, hurt, guilt, but most of all, sympathy for his son. “Hey, bud. I’m always here for you. We can get through this.” Greg said gently, honestly trying to convince himself as well.
A tear streaked down Steven’s cheek.
“I feel like- I just-“ He paused, searching for the right words. “I don’t even know what I’m feeling.”
Greg brought his son closer. “It’s okay to not know, Steven.”
Steven burrowed into his father’s side. “I can’t imagine what you’re feeling right now either. I’m sorry.”
“For what, existing? You don’t need to apologize, Steven. I loved, still love your mom, and although this revelation really shocks me, I’d never regret you.”
The corners of Steven’s mouth turned up just slightly. “Thanks, Dad. I love you.”
“I love you too, Stuball.”
The two of them sat, father and son, in a comfortable silence. Eventually, they could talk their feelings out with each other and with the Gems, but for now, just being together was enough.